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Slow progress on capital markets

Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz is single-handedly staging an economic revolution in Pakistan, selling yet another military government to a sceptical international investor community.

Shaukat Aziz

When the army seized power almost two years ago, Pakistan's financial situation was so dire it was unable to access even the short-term to medium-term commercial bank market.

In the past four months or so, according to finance minister Shaukat Aziz, investor sentiment has improved and Pakistan has started to tap these markets. "Banks are looking at Pakistan and offering us facilities, which is a change from two years ago," he says. "Later on in this financial year we hope to go to the market to rebuild our links with investors, although we recognize that a lot more needs to be done. We have to be realistic, but the reform agenda must continue. Reform and change are painful, but if we don't do that we'll be back to the days of the past where there was a lot of ad hocism and expediency as a driver of decisions rather than doing what's good for the economy in the long run."

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